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LA Times Loses Science Writer

Science and medical writer Thomas Maugh is retiring after 26 years at the Los Angeles Times. His last day will be August 31st, and as LA Observed notes, his departure doesn’t bode well for the paper’s science coverage:

Maugh, a steady hand on topics from planetary discoveries to presidential health crises to archaeology, is the last link to the years when the Times competed internationally on science coverage, had a significant weekly package and prototyped a section to rival the NYT’s Science Times. Those ambitions were dropped long ago, partly cost-cutting and partly editorial choice, despite the major presence of science, health and technology institutions in Southern California. The LAT’s science “page” this past Saturday was a sorry-looking half-page that was easily overlooked.

LA Observed also predicts we’ll be hearing about more newsroom departures soon, with well-paid writers rumored to be under pressure to take buyouts by the month’s end.

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